Show donors THEIR impact, not your impact


Last week a nonprofit fundraiser said to me, “World Vision can afford to spend so much money to track each child because World Vision is huge and has a lot of money.”

This is almost exactly backwards.

In reality, World Vision is huge and has a lot of money because they spent the money to track each child and report back to donors on what their gifts accomplished.

Donors love to know what their gifts accomplished.  And you don’t need the child sponsorship model to take advantage of that.  Simply tell donors stories about individual lives that were changed by your organization, describe how their life is better than it was before, and then give the credit for the change to the donor.  Your donors will love it — and they will be far more likely to give additional gifts to your organization.

Pro Tip: when you do this, tell the donors what they did, not what your organization did.


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

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